Skip to comments.Higgs boson: What's it for? I have no idea, says Prof
Posted on 07/06/2012 5:29:33 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
Professor Peter Higgs admits he has "no idea" what the discovery of the Higgs boson will mean in practical terms.
The British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs boson has admitted he has no idea what practical applications it could have.
Prof Peter Higgs said the so-called God particle, which is the building block of the universe, only has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second.
He refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God, stating the name God particle was a joke by another academic who originally called it the goddamn particle because it was so hard to find.
The 83-year-old was giving his first detailed press interview since the discovery earlier this week of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
The Higgs boson helps to explain how fundamental particles gain their mass - a property which allows them to bind together and form stars and planets rather than whizzing around the universe at the speed of light.
Speaking at Edinburgh University, where he published his theory about the bosons existence in 1964, he said: Its around for a very short time.
"Its probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I dont know how you apply that to anything useful.
Its hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications.
How you could have an application of this thing which is very short lived, I have no idea.
But Alan Walker, a colleague from
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
It exists to sell British newspapers
Heaven knows I’m no physicist, but I’d be willing to make a gentleman’s wager that there is only one substance in the universe, everything arises from it, and the universe is filled with it. And God is apart from it.
Higgs, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Listen to me
Yet long enough for the Gov't to have spent your grand-child's inheritance...
Even if God only existed for a millionth of a millionth
of a millionth of a second...that would be long enough
to do what need be done.
He's even considerate. He dislikes the name God Particle because, while he's an atheist, he doesn't want to offend someone religious.
What are the particles called that make up the brains of those who profess themselves to be wise?
Yes, I too cannot see any practical use for the Higgs boson but I am quite the stolid thinker and that does not mean others will never use it. As a key to that physicist's dream of a "Grand Unified Theory", it might be a stepping stone to larger issues. I am glad that there is still such research going on. This is the legacy that our generation can hand down to subsequent ones that they too can stand on the shoulders of giants.
Yet, one wonders if we in the US had been able to assemble the same kind of international science alliance to build the Texas Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) that was started in 1987 and cancelled in 1993. It was designed to be 3 times larger and potentially even more powerful. It turned out to be a too expensive dream for a single country to build, BUT if we had, would this have been decades old news by now?
Actually I discovered it years ago in my backyard collider. But nobody would listen to me. :-(
There’s no way it could be such a proof.
Either that or he disdains the idea of a God so much he doesn’t even want to see what is apparently the most important particle in nature be called a God particle.
But, determined atheists are relatively few in the hard sciences. He’s got a lot of colleagues who are at least theoretical theists if not adherents to known world faiths.
But God can’t quit being. He cannot (read, won’t) literally snuff himself out.
Clinton killing the SSC was such a disaster. The LHC is still far from what it could’ve done. We could seriously be having attempts all sorts of new technologies by now. Oh well.
Will any technologies result from the theoretical discovery of the Higgs — who knows.
It seems the important thing in the theory isn’t this very fleeting Higgs boson, but a Higgs field — kind of like a magnetic or electric field in that we can’t see it, but it fills all space — in which perturbations can cause Higgs bosons to make their fleeting appearance. The Higgs field, without any of its bosons needing to be present, is theorized to exert a drag or pull upon other particles, a drag that we have classically called the inertial and gravitational effects related to mass. For Higgs bosons themselves to exist seems but a laboratory curiosity.
Antigravity fields might result from perturbing the Higgs field in the right manner... but who knows. Only God does at this time.
Why then God and not Dam?
Two classic quotes are attributed to Michael Faraday: (The Farad, is a unit of electrical capicitance)
Whilst attempting to explain a discovery to either Gladstone (Chancellor) or Peel (Prime Minister) he was asked, ‘But, after all, what use is it?’ Faraday replied, ‘Why sir, there is the probability that you will soon be able to tax it.’
When the Prime Minister asked of a new discovery, ‘What good is it?’, Faraday replied, ‘What good is a new-born baby?’
LOL! It looks like that speculation came true!